If you have recently seen Markus Schulz chasing seagulls on South Beach with a microphone, fear not. The world-famous DJ is not losing his mind. He was simply recording sound samples for his latest album. Schulz’s sixth album, Watch the World, dropped on April 29, and the album-release party is going down tonight at Heart Nightclub.
“We took the mic out to the ocean near where I live to record waves and seagulls, and we were in the alleys of South Beach to record the sound of trucks and police sirens,” Schulz told us.
Schulz arrived for our afternoon conversation at the Clevelander dressed in the global DJ uniform: black couture sneakers, black T-shirt, and big-lens designer shades. We were offered cocktails, but Schulz declined. He had a busy schedule ahead of him. Schulz had just returned from a weekend in NYC, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
“I only got five hours of sleep this weekend," he said. "I was in New York for an appearance on SiriusXM Radio and then I had album-release parties in L.A. and San Fran. Every day I wake up and live music. Once you realize your path, you have to devote yourself to that path and every hour of every day is dedicated to it. It’s a commitment to do this. I don’t just roll out of bed, play some in-the-club music, and go home. The schedule is brutal.”
This May, Schulz is playing three album-release parties in the States before heading to Europe for another eight shows. His new 17-track LP is a two-year project whittled down from a pool of over 50 tracks. Six albums and several disco laps around the world have been fruitful for Schulz. He’s not the starving artist he was in the late '90s when he was hosting Saturday nights on 106.3 FM “The Edge” in Phoenix.
“I had a rough childhood. I was an Army brat and we moved every three years... My first album was heavier and darker. As you become successful, it’s hard to make dark and depressing albums — it’s hard to go back to those original feelings I had as a kid. I’m living a life more incredible than I could’ve ever dreamt.”
Schulz was initially concerned his fans might think the new album is too commercial, but he says the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Fans sing along at the shows and Schulz has even seen some get the lyrics tattooed on their bodies.
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Watch the World is a mixture of instrumental tracks and vocal numbers written and co-written by Schulz with eight different vocalists. The album even has a hit fit for top-40 radio titled “Summer Dream.”
Schulz’s relationship with music has spanned the majority of his life. It helped Schulz through a difficult childhood, but now the roles have changed and he’s the provider. To stay consistent, he keeps an ear open to feedback from the people who matter the most.
“The feedback I get from my fans dictates whether or not this album is a success. I make music for them. If I gain new fans, that’s cool, but what is most important for me is that I produce music for people on my same frequency. I’m not interested in chasing people I don’t connect with. It seems the fans realize my soul is
Markus Schulz and Oscar G. 11 p.m. Friday, May 6, at Heart Nightclub, 50 NE 11th St., Miami; 305-912-3099; heartnightclub.com. Admission is free before 12:30 a.m.